'Feud' season 2 concludes with Truman Capote's tragic early demise. Here's everything you need to know about the author's death and his unfinished book.

Truman Capote, the focus of "Feud" season 2, died in 1984 at the age of 59.
Truman Capote, the focus of "Feud" season 2, died in 1984 at the age of 59.FX, Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
  • "Feud: Capote Vs. The Swans" concludes with a focus on Truman Capote's final years.

  • The writer died at age 59 in 1984 with his much-hyped book, "Answered Prayers," unpublished.

  • Some think he did finish it, and the missing chapters have fascinated people for decades.

Across eight episodes, the second season of Ryan Murphy's "Feud: Capote vs. The Swans," has dramatized how acclaimed American author Truman Capote (Tom Hollander) changed New York society and the trajectory of his career with the publication of a scandalous short story that satirized those whom he affectionately dubbed "The Swans."

The story, titled "La Côte Basque 1965" — named after a Manhattan restaurant where Capote and his jet-setting, glamorous female acquaintances once regularly dined — was a thinly veiled fictionalization of their lives that exposed their scandals and secrets.


It was published in an issue of Esquire in 1975, and as audiences have come to learn from the series, it had devastating consequences.

Ann Woodward, pseudonymized but identifiable in the story, died by suicide before the issue hit newsstands, with some believing that Capote's words had pushed her over the edge.

Beyond that, the fallout of the story's publication caused irrevocable rifts between Capote and those he cared for deeply.

According to Laurence Leamer's "Capote's Women" — which showrunner Jon Robin Baitz adapted the series from — the "In Cold Blood" author's excommunication from high society caused him to sink deeper into a dependence on alcohol and drugs in the following decade.

He died in 1984, a month shy of his 60th birthday.

Capote died far from his beloved world of New York society

As "Feud" shows, Joanne Carson (played by Molly Ringwald), the ex-wife of "The Tonight Show" host Johnny Carson, remained on good terms with Capote until his death.

That's despite the fact that "La Côte Basque 1965" featured a character seemingly based on her.

In the story, her suspected counterpart is Jane Baxter, the wife of a "midnight-TV clown" who received a phone call from her philandering husband while he was in bed with his mistress.

Truman Capote (Tom Hollander) and Joanne Carson (Molly Ringwald) in "Feud: Capote Vs. The Swans."
Truman Capote (Tom Hollander) and Joanne Carson (Molly Ringwald) in "Feud: Capote Vs. The Swans."FX

It's possible that Carson forgave Capote because, as she told The Los Angeles Times in 2006, "Truman stood by me like a rock" after her divorce in 1972.

Per the same outlet, Capote kept two rooms at Carson's home on Sunset Boulevard, where he spent his time writing and swimming.

It was also where he died on August 25, 1984.

According to PBS, Capote's official death certificate attributed his death to "liver disease complicated by phlebitis and multiple drug intoxication."

Capote's dependency on drugs was well known. The "Breakfast at Tiffany's" author spent time at rehabilitation clinics in the late 1970s. In 1978, he also openly spoke about his substance abuse during an on-air interview with television personality Stanley Siegal.

Capote, who appeared intoxicated during the conversation, was asked by Siegel, "What's going to happen unless you lick this problem of drugs and alcohol?"